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Grosse Abfahrt: Everything That Disappears (Emanem)

Grosse Abfahrt (Great Departure) mates Bay Area musicians with European free improvisers, here playing live @ Mills College with Frederic Blondy, Le Quan Ninh.

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product information:

UPC: 5030243414628

Label: Emanem
Catalog ID: 4146
Squidco Product Code: 9321

Format: CD
Condition: New
Released: 2008
Country: Great Britain
Packaging: Jewel Tray
Digital recordings by Michael Zelner of Zoka Recording, Mills College Ensemble Room, Oakland, CA, March 13, 2007.


Tom Djll-trumpet, pocket cornet, preparations

Matt Ingalls-Bb clarinet, bass clarinet

Frederic Blondy-piano

John Shiurba

electric guitar

George Cremaschi-doublebass, electronics

Le Quan Ninh-surrounded bass drum

John Bischoff, Tim Perkis-electronics

Gino Robair-energised surfaces, voltage made audible

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Artist Biographies:

"Frédéric Blondy Born in Bordeaux in 1973.

On completing his studies in Mathematics and Physics at Bordeaux University, Frédéric Blondy dedicated himself full time to music, firstly as a jazz pianist and subsequently as a student at the Bordeaux National Conservatory where he studed piano, harmony, analysis and composition. Since moving to Paris he has worked with Marie-Christine Calvet at the "International Piano Center", refining a body-based approach to the instrument.

As musician, Frédéric Blondy has performed in many festivals and venues in Europe, North America, Middle East and Asia, working with, amongst others Paul Lovens, Rhodri Davies, Lê Quan Ninh, Michel Doneda, Joëlle Léandre, Urs Leimgruber, Thomas Lehn, Daunik Lazro, Radu Malfatti, John Tilbury, Otomo Yoshihide, Mats Gustafsson,.... and developed a thorough work with ensembles like Hubbub, Ethos.

As composer, he wrote music for films, videos, and danse and works with several ensembles.

In 2011 he created the Orchestre de Nouvelles Créations, Expérimentations et Improvisations Musicales (ONCEIM - ensemble of 30 musicians) to develop links between improvisers skills and written music. He is actually artistic director and composer for this ensemble.

He runs for several years a regular workshops on improvisation and contemporary sound practices, first at the Instants Chavirés then as part of the Rendez-Vous Contemporains of Saint Merry.He is a regular speaker at the Cité de la Musique in Paris for workshops on contemporary sound practices and new creation tools.

More occasionally he is requested in many festivals in Europe, North America and Japan to lead courses and presenting lectures aboutimprovisation and contemporary sound practices.

He has made almost twenty recordings published on different European labels. He is a regular guest on national radio for concerts or to participate in broadcasts. His concerts are regularly recorded and broadcast by national radios : France Musique, SWR, BBC,...

He is also involved in the promotion of improvised and contemporary music as well as visual arts through Rendez-Vous Contemporains of Saint Merry and the festival Crak in Paris inviting international artists for concerts, performances, screenings, meetings..."

-Frederic Blondy Website (

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"George Cremaschi works with a variety of approaches and strategies in the areas overlapping music, sound art and noise. In thirty years as a composer and performer he has worked with a long and diverse list of distinguished musicians, dancers and choreographers, filmmakers, installation artists, and writers. Some of his current projects include the groups KRK (w/Matthew Ostrowski), Rohr Rohr (w/dieb13 and Gino Robair) and Lambs Gamble (w/Fritz Welch and Eric Boros). He is also the founder (w/Petr Vrba) and director of Pražský Improvizační Orchestr (PIO), a 15-member group working with conducted and free improvisation and graphic scores.

As an interpreter, he has performed works by many composers including Adamčiak, Andriessen, Braxton, Cage, Cardew, Feldman, Mingus, Oliveros, Penderecki, Tenney, Xenakis, etc and has appeared on over 40 recordings on Apestaartje, Beak Doctor, Black Saint, Emanem, Evander, Evolving Ear, Leo, Music & Arts, Nine Winds, Rastascan and other labels. Born in New York where he studied music and composition, he later lived for many years in California and currently lives in Prague, Czech Republic."

-George Cremaschi Website (

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"Gino Robair has created music for dance, theater, radio, television, silent film, and gamelan orchestra, and his works have been performed throughout North America, Europe, and Japan. He was composer in residence with the California Shakespeare Festival for five seasons and served as music director for the CBS animated series The Twisted Tales of Felix the Cat. His commercial work includes themes for the MTV and Comedy Central cable networks.

Robair is also one of the "25 innovative percussionists" included in the book Percussion Profiles (SoundWorld, 2001). He has recorded with Tom Waits, Anthony Braxton, Terry Riley, Lou Harrison, John Butcher, Derek Bailey, Peter Kowald, Otomo Yoshihide, the ROVA Saxophone Quartet, and Eugene Chadbourne, among many others. In addition, Robair has performed with John Zorn, Nina Hagen, Fred Frith, Eddie Prevost, Thinking Fellers Union Local 282, Myra Melford, Wadada Leo Smith, and the Club Foot Orchestra.

Robair is a founding member of the Splatter Trio and the heavy-metal band, Pink Mountain. In addition, he runs Rastascan Records, a label devoted to creative music.

As a writer about music technology, Robair has contributed to Mix, Remix, Guitar Player, and Electronic Musician (EM) magazine, where he was an editor for 10 years. He is the author of two books, including The Ultimate Personal Recording Studio (Thompson; 2006)."

-Gino Robair Website (

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track listing:

1. The lack Americans connected What disappears 10:01

2. negativity paradox achieved in humour realm 10:22

3. Admittedly, social relations This 14:53

4. geometric undulating driveway symmetrical, all the road of masters 38:48
descriptions, reviews, &c.

"The group is called Grosse Abfahrt. This is the name I gave the project on the occasion of its first recording. In German, it means 'great departure'. The project is to take a core group of Bay Area musicians and put them together with out of town guests, usually Europeans. Always free improvisation. This recording marks the third iteration of the project.

In the spring of 2007 the San Francisco Bay Area was host to the crack improvising team of Lê Quan Ninh and Frédèric Blondy. Ninh (his given name, btw) hardly needs introduction, being solidly established as both a concert percussionist and improviser of range and sensitivity. Pianist Blondy has worked with a range of Europeans including Urs Leimgruber, Paul Lovens and the quintet Hubbub. The Lê Quan-Blondy duo recording, EXALTATIO UTRIUSQUE MUNDI (Potlatch P203), is a favorite of mine, so I was excited to learn they were coming to the West Coast.

I wanted to bring this pair together with the best San Francisco Bay Area improvising musicians in a larger context, consisting of the 'Acme House Band' players heard on SUPERMODEL SUPERMODEL (Emanem 4126), SIX FUCHS (Rastascan BRD 052) and ERSTES LUFTSCHIFF ZU KALIFORNIEN (Creative Sources CS 065) - Gino Robair, John Shiurba, and Tim Perkis - plus Matt Ingalls, John Bischoff, George Cremaschi and myself, for a total of nine. The music was to strive toward long structures - my sole bit of direction to the ensemble. We formed this particular ensemble just a few days after the death of Jean Baudrillard, whose book AMERICA served as the source for the album and track titles. I just picked some pages and read the first word from each line down for the latter.

John Bischoff is a professor of music at Mills College. Along with Tim Perkis, he is an acknowledged pioneer of live computer music. Gino Robair, Matt Ingalls, and Tom Djll all studied at Mills College in the 1990s. Matt now runs the modernist ensemble sfSound, which in 2006 performed at Wesleyan College and Merkin Hall in New York. Gino Robair founded The Splatter Trio and Rastascan Records and has performed with so many great people, it's kind of silly to even start listing them. George Cremaschi's list of playing partners is perhaps shorter but illustrious nonetheless, taking in Mats Gustaffson, Greg Goodman, Toshi Makihara, and Evan Parker. George splits his time between West Oakland and the Czech Republic. Tim Perkis recently performed a duo with Fred Frith at a local San Francisco venue and is busy promoting his movie Noisy People, which documents the Bay Area creative music scene. John Shiurba is a founding member of the ensembles Eskimo and Spezza Rotto, toured Europe and Japan with The Molecules, and in 2006 released a CD featuring Anthony Braxton playing John's compositions for quintet, 5x5 (Unlimited Sedition / (Rastascan BRD 055)."-Tom Djll, from the liner notes

Related Categories of Interest:

EMANEM & psi

Improvised Music
European Improv, Free Jazz & Related
London & UK Improv & Related Scenes
Free Improvisation
Instant Rewards

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